Serving modern Israeli cuisine, Shaya has been the talk of the New Orleans restaurant scene since it opened last year. Chef Alon Shaya marries his Israeli upbringing with Southern flavors and modern techniques, striking a balance between innovation and tradition. “We always serve latkes as part of our Channukah festivities at Shaya,” he says. “Instead of the traditional sour cream and applesauce, we use creamy ikra or caviar and smoky apple butter to give the latkes a little more flair.”
Taste Shaya’s crispy potato latkes on the restaurant’s Hanukkah menu December 24 and 25—along with a salad of winter lettuces, slow-cooked turkey and sufganiyot—or make them at home for your own eight-day celebration.
3.75 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and grated
.5 lbs. onion
1 cup lemon juice
1.5 Tbsp. salt
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup cornstarch
7 egg whites, whipped until frothy
Butter or canola oil for frying
Salmon Roe Ikra (recipe below)
Apple Butter with Turkish Chilies (recipe below)
Grate the russet potatoes and onions through a cheese grater. (The weight of the potatoes and onions in the recipe is after they are grated.) Combine the grated onion, potato, salt and lemon juice together and place in a towel over a colander to drain. Add weight to the colander to press out any excess liquid. Let it sit for 1 hour then ring out the mixture to dry it even more. Fold the whipped egg whites, cornstarch and green onions into the russet mixture. Pan-fry the latkes in thin even layers in clarified butter until golden brown on both sides. Canola oil can be substituted for clarified butter. Serves 6.
Note: To make clarified butter, place the butter in a saucepan and slowly melt over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Skim the foam from the top, and slowly pour into a container, discarding the milky solids in the bottom of pan.
Salmon Roe Ikra:
5 brown anchovy fillets, packed in salt
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Salmon roe caviar
Crush the garlic clove and place in a bowl with the juice of 2 lemons. Let sit for 15 minutes, then strain and reserve the juice. Place anchovy fillets and lemon juice in a blender and puree together. With blender on medium speed, slowly add extra virgin olive oil to emulsify. Set puree aside.
Place room temperature cream cheese in a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer and whisk attachment, whip cream cheese until light and fluffy. Continue to whip on low and add the sour cream until incorporated. Continue to whip on low and slowly add 1/4 cup of anchovy puree until incorporated. Spoon into a serving dish, and garnish with thin sliced shallot and caviar.
Apple Butter with Turkish Chilies:
6 granny smith apples, skin on and core removed
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup date molasses (or a dark amber honey)
3/4 tsp. baharat or pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp. urfa biber pepper flakes (can substitute chipotle pepper flakes)
In a medium sauce pan, add the apples, vinegar and enough water to cover the apples only halfway. Cook on medium low heat for roughly 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until the fruit is falling apart. The skins of the apples should be an “army green” color. Remove from the heat and puree in a blender until completely smooth. Be careful to start on a low speed to avoid an overflowing blender. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and place back into the pot. Add the date molasses and baharat. Cook on low heat for about 25 minutes while stirring frequently. The puree should become a dark caramel color.
Turn off the heat and add the urfa biber pepper and let fully cool until room temperature. Refrigerate.
Recipe courtesy of Shaya; photo by Randy Schmidt.